There is no point in trying to market over Facebook without any fans (people who LIKE your restaurant). Engagement, in general, should be the priority but before you can do that, you have to be marketing to somebody. With that in mind, we will discuss LIKE targeting, a promotion meant to get more people into your Facebook community.

LIKE targeting means giving a reward to your customers who LIKE your restaurant on Facebook if you accumulate a certain number of LIKEs in a certain period of time. For example, a restaurant may offer a free appetizer to Facebook fans if it collects 1,000 new LIKEs in a month. After customers LIKE your restaurant’s Facebook Page, it will give you future opportunities to inform customers about promotions or events. Also, you will have the opportunity to keep a significant place in their mind through their Facebook news feed.

If you pull this promotional campaign off successfully, your future Facebook marketing efforts will not be so easily ignored. This kind of offer will make your Facebook Page much more exciting (and valuable) for your customers.

How To Run A Like Targeting Campaign

As you don’t want to disappoint your customers, you must set a reasonable goal that can be reached. Don’t expect to double or triple the number of fans overnight. A restaurant with 3,000 fans might attempt to add another 1,000 over in a month. Shorter periods of time are also possible (down to 2 weeks), but don’t go for longer as people will lose interest or lose patience in receiving the reward.

Equally important is that the incentive is good enough that your customers tell their friends about the promotion. The better freebies frequently relate to a unique part of that restaurant. Nothing is better than getting your customers to talk with their friends about the promotion, so you may try to sweeten the deal for two customers who both are fans of your restaurant. Say for a bar, instead of giving out a free glass of beer, you may give a pitcher if two fans show up together. The more social it is the better the promotion will be.

For that reason, I wouldn’t exclude those who are already fans from the deal as they will be the ones who persuade their friends to participate in the promotion. There are no better promoters than your own customers.

To ensure that customers know about the promotion, you should have a landing page that informs customers of the promotion (you may need someone knowledgeable about Facebook to design this). It is a good idea to promote it in your restaurant through signage (like tracking the progress of the promotion) and on your restaurant’s website through banners and links. Customers have to be conscious of the promotion, and you cannot rely on Facebook solely to spread the word. You should encourage your customers to share the promotion over Facebook as normally this can have a big influence on whether customers participate or not. A little peer pressure can push people over the edge.

Why It’s Important

LIKE targeting increases your LIKE count, giving your restaurant the ability to show up in your customer’s Facebook news feed. If they don’t LIKE your restaurant, it is very doubtful that they will find out about promotions and events through Facebook. Fans don’t replace engagement. Because of Facebook’s news feed algorithm Edgerank, a restaurant must encourage engagement (posts, comments and liking of comments) or your post will not appear in a visible place in your Fans’ news feed. But since LIKE targeting motivates your customers to participate on your restaurant’s Facebook Page, it engages (as customers are given a specific reason to take action) at the same time as improving your marketing reach.

Of course, when you have a sizable pool of Facebook users who LIKE your restaurant, the level of engagement should take up the majority of your energies (whether time, money or creativity), and LIKE targeting may not bolster your social media marketing as much. A sizable pool of Fans in my book is  around 10,000. That does not mean engagement should be neglected to until you get to that level, but it does mean you should probably turn your attention away from how many people LIKE your restaurant and make what they do on your wall your top priority. However, LIKE targeting does give you an increased social media presence and opens the door to making Facebook a generator of more business.